The billionaire André Hoffmann buys Jayer-Gilles estate in Burgundy (in French)


Encore un nom de la Bourgogne viticole racheté par un étranger. Héritier du laboratoire pharmaceutique suisse Hoffmann-La-Roche, André Hoffmann a acquis ce mois d’août la majorité du domaine bourguignon Jayer-Gilles.
André Hoffmann se présente comme un amoureux de la Bourgogne et de ses vins. Familier du sud de la France, le Suisse, vice-président du groupe pharmaceutique familial Hoffmann-La-Roche, a réalisé son rêve de gosse en acquérant un domaine viticole bourguignon.
Son béguin s’est porté sur le domaine Jayer-Gilles, une maison “synonyme d’une vinification rigoureuse, de vins de grande tenue”, juge-t-il au lendemain de la vente.
La communauté des amateurs et les lecteurs de La RVF se souviennent que ce domaine d’une dizaine d’hectares situé à Magny-lès-Villers, à un kilomètre au nord de Ladoix-Serrigny et d’Aloxe-Corton, a connu une certaine notoriété dans les années 1990 en signant des vins en rupture avec la tradition bourguignonne de l’époque.

Le vigneron Gilles Jayer-Gilles, aux commandes du domaine depuis 1982, restera quelques temps encore le chef d’orchestre, avant de céder la place à deux jeunes vignerons, Julien Gros (domaine Christian Gros), qui a œuvré aux châteaux de Beaucastel (Rhône) et Miraval (Provence), et Alexandre Vernet (domaines Gilbert, Philippe Germain et Manuel Olive).
D’après la dernière liste des plus riches familles d’Europe publiée par l’excellent magazine suisse Bilan, la fortune professionnelle de la famille Hoffmann s’élèverait à près de 26 milliards de francs suisses, soit 23 milliards d’euros, ce qui la place au quinzième rang en Europe.
Désormais à la tête des crus Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Hauts Poirêts, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru les Damodes et du grand cru Echezeaux du Dessus, André Hoffmann, entend poursuivre en Bourgogne ses efforts de conservation de la nature. Passionné par l’écologie et spécialiste des oiseaux sauvages de Camargue, M. Hoffmann est en effet vice-président du World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF International).

An article from La Revue du Vin de France by Geoffrey Avé,4556402.asp




Rumours are circulating that Saint-Estèphe property Château Phélan-Ségur has been sold to the owner of a leading shipping company.
According to a tweet by Jancis Robinson MW that the drinks business has not, so far, been able to absolutely confirm, the Gardinier family has apparently sold the ‘cru bourgeois exceptionnel’ to Philippe Van de Vyvere, the owner of one of Europe’s largest shipping firms, Sea-Invest.
Details of the sale remain unknown although the château was reportedly put up for sale with minimal fanfare some two months ago.
Neither the château nor the office of Van de Vyvere have so far confirmed the sale although both have been contacted by the drinks business.
It is thought the family has sold the estate in its entirety and have not retained any shares although the technical team will remain in place, at least for the time being.
The Gardinier family has been at the helm of the château since 1985 and the three brothers, Thierry, Laurent and Stéphane (pictured) have been in charge since the late 1990s.
As well as Phélan-Ségur, the Gadiniers own the famous Paris restaurant Taillevent, which also has an outlet in London now, Les 110 de Taillevent and one of Champagne’s leading hotels, Les Crayères in Reims.
Why they might have decided to sell the property is not known. It is conceivable they wish to focus more on the hotel and restaurant trade and have thus divested themselves of what would otherwise be an expensive asset.
On the other hand, they have also poured huge investment into the estate over recent years and critics and merchants alike are in agreement that the quality and consistency of the wines has improved dramatically, with the recent 2016 vintage being one of the ‘best ever’ wines from the property.
It is widely admired as a brand and certainly punches above its weight for a cru bourgeois with many people no doubting believing it to be a cru classé on the basis of its renown, quality and price.
Asking prices certainly have risen at the estate, though certainly not out of step with other properties in the region. Phélan-Ségur is a large estate though, covering some 70 hectares and produces a lot of wine in an average year.
Is it possible that in a bid to raise the profile of Phélan-Ségur and price it as a cru classé, the owners have found it harder to shift stocks? Or perhaps they found they’d hit a price ceiling and weren’t able to take the label any further?
Another high profile château, Troplong-Mondot, was sold last month to a French insurance firm.

An article from The Drink Business by Rupert Millar

Chateau Troplong Mondot Sold For Record Setting Price


In breaking news, Chateau Troplong Mondot was sold to SCOR Group by Xavier Pariente, the owner of Chateau Troplong Mondot. The SCOR group is a massive French Insurance Company that was formed in 1970. This is their first investment in Bordeaux. While details on the transaction are a closely held secret, the rumors are that price paid was close to 180 Million Euros! That is a record setting price for land in St. Emilion at close to 5.5 Million Euros per hectare.
That makes 3 sales of Classified vineyards in the Right Bank in one week! For details on the 2 other sales just announced 2 Classifed Growth Vineyards Sold in 1 Week!
What makes this transaction unique is that the other 2 vineyard sales that took place this week were for smaller estates that sold to owners of vineyards that were classified as Premier Grand Cru Classe B with the potential to have those vines merged into the larger, higher classified vineyards. Troplong Mondot is the first sale in years of a First Growth classified vineyard! Troplong Mondot earned their status in the 2012 Classification of Saint Emilion.
The timing of the Troplong Mondot sale is noteworthy, but not the sale. There has been talk for years about the estate being discreetly marketed to investors. The biggest rumors took place shortly after the passing of the owner, Christine Valette in March, 2014. At the time was that the property was sold to the Perse family, the owners of Chateau Pavie. But as we know now, that rumor can surely be put to bed.
In conversations with Troplong Mondot, it is expected that the team will remain in place. A new director will be named shortly. Rumors are that the person may have already been hired and that they come from the negociant side of the business. During the transition, Xavier Pariente, who has been involved with Troplong Mondot since 2002 will remain with the estate. This is a big move and decision for Xavier Pariente and his family. I have known their family longer than perhaps any other family in Bordeaux, I will miss seeing them at the estate. It’s always difficult to sell a family owned vineyard. There are numerous reasons why sales like this take place. Taxes, the children might not want to manage the vineyard, or the owner has decided to move on with their life, cash out and enjoy life.
Chateau Troplong Mondot is one of the top estates in all of Bordeaux. Prior to being purchased by the Valette family, the vineyard was formerly the property of Georges Thienpont, the owner of the famed Pomerol estate, Vieux Chateau Certan.
Chateau Troplong Mondot owns 33 hectares of vines planted to 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Troplong Mondot occupies one of the best terroirs in the appellation. They are situated on top of the Saint Emilion plateau and slopes, at an elevation that allows views of the entire St. Emilion village. Chateau Troplong Mondot also owns and operates a luxury bed and breakfast and restaurant on the property, Les Belles Perdrix which was included as part of the sale. The restaurant Les Belles Perdrix recently earned its first Michelin star.

An article from The Wine Cellar Insider